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Best Condenser Mic for male vocals under $200/£140


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There isn't that much you can get for under $200, maybe the Audio Technica AT2020 or the Studio Projects B1. If you're willing to bump up your budget to $250 then maybe you can get the Rode NT1A. Also don't neglect the usability of less expensive dynamic mics like the Shure SM58, which may be well suited for some singers. If its possible, it might also be a good idea to demo a few a mics before fully committing to buying one.

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I think Davie's correct in saying that your options open up a bit if you can increase the budget to $250-275 or so. But if that's not possible, a used Rode NT1a might be a possibility. Other options in new mics include the MXL V67i (which has warm and bright options for versatility), Blue Spark, Studio Projects B1, and the Audio-Technica AT2035 - all of which are decent and within your budget range... but it would be hard to say which one is "best" - ultimately, that will come down to the nature of your voice and your personal preferences.

 

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I think Davie's correct in saying that your options open up a bit if you can increase the budget to $250-275 or so. But if that's not possible, a used Rode NT1a might be a possibility. Other options in new mics include the MXL V67i (which has warm and bright options for versatility), Blue Spark, Studio Projects B1, and the Audio-Technica AT2035 - all of which are decent and within your budget range... but it would be hard to say which one is "best" - ultimately, that will come down to the nature of your voice and your personal preferences.

 

 

 

Although I'm not the professional you are Phil I feel I have say I agree with you on the Rode. I used an MXL 990 for years that someone gave me. I finally decided about a month ago to upgrade and after looking around decided on the NT1A. By far the best bang for the buck I have seen in a while.

 

The thing about the rode it captures the sound as is, it is flat. It gives me a nice unaltered sound to start with, and that is exactly what I want.

 

To the OP, if I couldn't afford the NT1a and I was only $50 or $60 from that being in my price range, I wait until I saved that extra few dollars. The difference between a $200 and an NT1a is unbelievable.

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I really like Rode. They were one of the first brands to really launch the mic aspect of the project studio revolution and bring big bang for the bucks to the affordable condenser mic market, and they've consistently come out with cool products ever since then that perform very well, and yet don't cost an arm and a leg.

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PS I totally agree with you that it's better to save up for what you really want rather than talking yourself into making do with something else.

 

The later path almost invariably leads to dissatisfaction in the long run and even greater expense when you finally do get tired of making do and buy whatever it was that you really wanted to begin with.

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I been using the EV PL84 mice for vocals for the past year. Its a hand held condenser with super rugged build and great response. I like it over the Shure condensers like the SM87. The specs on them are very good too. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.electrovoice.com%2Fdownloadfile.php%3Fi%3D3102&ei=IbqtVM65AYqHyQSgs4G4CQ&usg=AFQjCNF8f0ALyQLv2bCjP6_33a9ROxVNFg

 

 

They seemed to have discontinued them for a newer model but you can still find them around if you dig. They retail for about $200 but you can find them for around $50 and worth every dime of it. I have dozens of other mics and found these the best sleeper to date.

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My next 200.00 for a mic goes to; the winner is:

the MXL990XL

 

FEATURES

  • 32mm capsule
  • FET preamp with balanced output
  • Provides a clear, bold sound
  • Large body with champagne finish
  • Includes custom shock mount

SPECIFICATIONS

990XL Condenser Microphone

  • Type: Pressure-gradient condenser mic
  • Diaphragm: 6-micron, gold sputtered
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Impedance: 160ohm
  • Sensitivity: 25mV/Pa
  • Equivalent Noise: 14dB (A-weighted IEC 268-4)
  • S/N Ratio: 80dB (Ref. 1Pa A-weighted)
  • Max SPL for 0.5% THD: 138dB
  • Power Requirement: 48V phantom power (±4V)
  • Current Consumption: < 5.5mA
  • Size: 2-3/4" x 6-5/16" (71mm x 160mm)
  • Weight: 1.35lb. (612g)

 

worth it's weight in gold to me...

 

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and since were on the subject, the next one after that would be a pair of;

 

MXL 4000 Multi-Pattern FET Studio Condenser Microphone

 

FEATURES

  • Warm-sounding, low-noise, classic recording studio mic sound
  • Large, 6-micron gold-sputtered capsule
  • Steel head and woven-brass mesh grill
  • Heavy duty metallic blue finished enclosure
  • Vintage transformerless design
  • Attractive mahogany colored storage case
  • Specially designed MXL 60 shock mount included
  • Custom foam windscreen

SPECIFICATIONS

4000 Multi-Pattern FET Studio Condenser Microphone

  • Preamp: Class-A FET
  • Polar Patterns: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, and Figure-eight
  • Frequency Response: 20-20kHz
  • Equivalent Noise: 20dB SPL
  • Sensitivity: 15mV/Pa
  • Maximum SPL: 130dB
  • Typical Load Impedance: >500 ohms
  • Output Source Impedance: 200 ohms
  • Power: Phantom Power

 

 

also worth there weight in gold {records, that is...}

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I really want to try that Rode. I have the SP B1 and it is OK, but I actually prefer my EV BK1 SD condenser to it for most voices so far. I am trying out a MXL cr 24 but can't say I really dig it any more than the B1 - Idon't think I'll keep it, but... I have heard some good testimonies about it. The mic that DOES do the trick for me though is the Sennheiser 441 but obviously much higher priced - but wow it made me a believer in dynamics!

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MXL V67G is a good overall warm and clear sounding mic for $88/$120, both male and female and many other uses. My concern is that after one year I started having static noise issues with it.

For a little more, $299 you can get an AT4040 which is my favorite vocal mic period. You get a creamy, warm, vintage sound which is perfect for male voice.

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I really like my Blue Spark! It really works well with my vocal range (tenor/baritone). There is a focus button that gives it an upfront sound with added presence and intelligibility. That button really helps if your not using a treated vocal booth. And at $199 USD it was affordable. The included shock mount is a bit cheap but it works. I'm very satisfied with it.

Edited by kbeaumont
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